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achieving true honesty


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It should be something fairly straight forward, but does anyone have any tips on how to achieve it?


I find that for me, although I try to be truthful, when it's an awkward situation, it seems that my first reflex is to make up some excuse/story to wriggle out of a situation, especially at work. Each time it happens though, I feel really bad about it afterwards and wish it hadn't happened. Are there any hints/tips to help turn off the reflex, and achieve the truthful option?

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Speak less often. To practice paying attention to yourself and when you lie.


If you find you want to spin a yarn or lie: Say nothing.


Here's an example. You're late for work bc you stayed up late the night before and so were too tired to get up in time for traffic.

Boss asks "Why are you late."

Say nothing. Don't answer the question. They don't need to know why anyways.

Simply say "I'm sorry I'm late. It won't happen again."


This method attacks it at the root: accountability.


You can do it!

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Think of it this way. When you lie you have to create another lie and another to continue the story. Before long you have forgot what your original line was and now your stuttering for the next make believe line.


Believe it or not your body gestures and vocal changes will give you away in most instances. You are destroying your character and integrity by doing this also. Tell yourself you are a better person than this, that you are an honest person and have principals!

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I know if I say this one way it's going to sound bad, but I don't lie. I hate it. I can't stand people who cannot be honest with me. When I was 3 I lied to my mom about something, I don't remember what now but I do remember getting soap in my mouth. I cried and cried and told her the truth and since then I never lied again. But then again I believe not telling someone something if they don't ask is the truth. For example if my mom were to ask if I ate her piece of cake, I would have to tell her, the question is specific, even if she asked just did anyone eat my cake, that I would have to say, but don't go out of your way to be like I ate your cake if she didn't ask. It's a little confusing but believe me honesty is the best policy.


I believe the best way to keep from lying is to do exactly what another person said... just breathe. Take a deep breath and either tell the truth or don't say anything. Do this a couple times and I'm sure you will feel relieved, no one realizes how much guilt and stress go along with lying. It kills me to lie and everytime someone has asks me to lie I screw it all up. But ofcourse don't get me wrong the little white lies are fine and those are ONLY this drawing is great lets put it on the fridge, and no mom you don't look fat in that.

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I was also punished harshly as a child if I ever told a lie. Now, as an adult, I loathe liars. I just can't understand them. They don't understand that they'll never again gain the benefit of the doubt.


If you don't want to answer a question directly, just answer in a different way - as someone suggested "I'm sorry, I'll try not to be late again." You don't have to necessarily admit you were hung over. It will be obvious if you don't answer a question directly that you don't want to answer it. But lying ... I just can't even condone it.


I think it's probably got a lot to do with how you were brought up. I know some 70-year olds who tell "little white lies." No wonder their children lie.

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Wow, thanks for all the feedback! I'm impressed by the people who say that they never lie. I think it takes quite a high level of conviction in your beliefs and abilities, and trusting your actions over what other people's judgements/opinions might be.


As far as root causes go, I think part of my problem is that I want to please people, and consequently end up giving myself unrealistic deadlines to work with (in and out of work). Then I discover that I've caused myself to juggle too much and I can't get it all done. Cue the excuses! I guess it's avoiding the initial disappointment from other people, but ultimately results in compounding disappointment. Probably being a bit of a scatterbrain doesn't help too much either....


Anyway, I like the sound of the deep breath technique, along with the method of acting as if the other person knows the truth already. I wonder how long it takes to effect lasting change...? I'd like to become someone who can come on here and confidently say "I never lie", and know that it'll be true in the future as well as now.

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I don't know if this will help, but I always thought anytime you told a lie it was wrong, a sin. That's a fundamental Christian precept, and I consider myself a Christian.


However, I've also been getting interested in Buddhism of late, and I read that their belief about honesty is yes, you should strive for it. However, in the event that telling the truth will cause a great deal more harm than not, then don't.



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